When fever becomes dangerous


If the high body temperature causes a choking sensation, abnormal vital signs or level of consciousness, we must see a doctor urgently.

Fever is common in childhood and, in general, the life of any person. Who has not ever had ? However, control is crucial, especially in older people with chronic diseases in children. We must learn to take it correctly and know when to compromise the health and needs to see a doctor. If it exceeds 40 º C, is considered very high and dangerous. More if both are malaise, shortness of breath and changes in vital signs or level of consciousness. antipyretic drugs and other measures, such as applying gauze sponges or soaked in water and alcohol, keep it stable. However, while taking into account the degrees of temperature, we must consider other factors: the daily fever for more than two weeks, you should also consult your GP. If you would like to know more information about various types of drugs, you could choose smart drug delivery systems.


Have fever is a sign that something is wrong in the body. The elevation of body temperature will rise as a response to aggression that, in general, is an infection caused by a virus or bacteria. You can also have other causes, such as autoimmune diseases, metabolic diseases, cancers and even some medications. A region of the brain, the hypothalamus is responsible for regulating body temperature. When it detects an attack, through a variety of stimuli, responds with its increase.

The body temperature in healthy individuals, it is normal when put in around 36.8 º C, when taken in the armpit. However, it is always kept well, but that same person changes throughout the day, follows a circadian rhythm. According to him, the body reaches its minimum temperature around six in the morning and evening peak, between four and six. In situations such as pregnancy or menstruation can be elevated without, therefore, you are sick, says Sisó Antoni Almirall, Director of Research in Primary Care Health Centre Les Corts in Barcelona, and associate professor of medicine at the University Barcelona.

Over 40 º C:

At what point it becomes dangerous? Usually, when it exceeds 40 º C is considered “very high and dangerous.” “This is a dangerous situation that should call your doctor immediately in an emergency room, “says Sisó. But to evaluate the possible danger of the fever, while taking into account the degrees of temperature, we must look at other factors. When it is daily, for a long time that exceeds two weeks, “should also consult your GP immediately.”

The fever may develop while chills, muscle aches, joint or other, sweating, tiredness, loss of appetite, drowsiness, cough, with or without expectoration, ” shortness of breath, diarrhea or skin lesions, among many other symptoms. Regardless of the cause that is provoking, it becomes dangerous when associated with malaise, shortness of breath, abnormal vital signs, altered level of consciousness or bleeding in unusual areas.

Impact on children and the elderly

Fever is more dangerous, even fatal, in elderly patients with chronic diseases, especially cardiovascular, respiratory and neurological. “These diseases, together with the medication taken to treat and certain social situations (many living alone ) help to elders may be more fragile ” states Sisó. In the elderly, small increases in body temperature have a major impact on your overall.

There are large discrepancies in the handling and treatment of fever in accordance with the age of a person. Unlike the impact it has on the elderly, in children, in general, does not cause major disruption if the increases are controlled. The greatest risk in children with high fever and are sustained seizures febrile. According to data provided by Sisó , over 90 % of cases are resolved in primary care centers, while only a small percentage need hospital care.

These correspond to children with fever above 40 ° C that does not yield to utensils , seniors over 75 years , suffering from Chronic diseases and some of the above warning signs , as well as patients with high fever that lasts more than two weeks , and that will require additional tests using a scheduled hospital admission or outpatient basis, if the situation permits.

How to take the temperature?

When a person is not feeling well , measure body temperature at least three times a day : morning , afternoon ( between 16:00 and 18:00 hours) and at night before bed. Until recently, there were frequent thermometers mercury, Which are now obsolete given the risk involved in this metal poisoning when a thermometer breaks. Digital models replace them.

At the time of taking the temperature, the results are more reliable in some parts of the body than others : the anorectal is the most reliable and recommended for young children, the axillary is the most used and oral – sublingual rarely used because of the risk for infection, if you use more than one person, and because it provides numbers higher than axillary or misinterpretation on foot.


To lower body temperature must not be used only to antipyretic drugs . It is possible to control the application of sponges or gauze soaked in water and alcohol. ” should not be used alone , since its effect could be counterproductive, but in combination with drugs of antipyretic effect , “says Sisó . The treatment is most commonly used drug; paracetamol, Useful in any age group and even in infants , ibuprofen is a antiinflammatory that is used frequently in children from three years and that also applies to adults , the acetylsalicylic acid (Aspirin ) is very effective as antipyretic and anti-inflammatory , but should be avoided in children and adults with gastric diseases.